Are you wanting to escape to a quiet village, but still be very close to a popular beach destination in the south of France? Then you need to consider Gassin. This scenic village is situated in the middle of the Saint Tropez peninsula, perched high up on a rock, and is less than 4 km from the sea and 8 km to Saint-Tropez. It showcases old winding streets and ancient houses brimming with beautiful flowers. But it’s the panoramic views that make this place incredibly special. Let me share why you need to escape to this most beautiful village.
From this rocky summit, at an altitude of 200 metres, you will have magnificent views of the coastline of the Gulf of St. Tropez, including the towns of La Croix, Valmer, Grimaud, St. Maxime and Les Issambres. In the other direction, you will have views of Iles D’Or over to the Maures mountains and all the way to the snowy peaks of the Alps.
When you immediately arrive to the village it starts with the main parking area, as this is a walkable village only. It is here you will find the magnificent sea views. There is a bit of a lookout point, and it’s the best spot to watch the sunrise. Locals and tourists alike start their day here watching the sunrise. You won’t be alone, but don’t worry, you will be mesmerized by the epic views.
Along the terraced wall, the Promenade Dei Barri, is where you will find the villages’ restaurants, all of which have large outdoor terraces to look out onto those beautiful panoramic views.
Most Beautiful Village in France
Gassin is known as Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, or the Most Beautiful Village in France. There are about 150 villages that hold this prestigious title, and Gassin is deservedly one of those. To be considered Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, the village needs to be a maximum population size of 2,000 inhabitants and have at least 2 monuments of historical significance, and yes of course, be beautiful.
Did you know that the department of Vaucluse in the heart of Provence has the greatest number of these villages? Less than 2 hours from Gassin, there are has 7 of these villages all in close proximity to each other.
History tells us that Gassin became a fortified village at the end of the 15th century, but experienced most of its development in the second half of the 19th century when it more than doubled in size.
The key monuments and points of interest in Gassin are:
- the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption chapel, built at the end of the 11th century (rebuilt in 16th century), houses statues of the Madonna and Child and Christ (17th century) and an 18th century bell
- the Town Hall of Gassin, built in 1584
- the Romanesque chapel of Our Lady of Consolation is in the midst of a wooded area, served as parish until the mid-16th century
- the oldest art gallery in the area, Galerie deï Barri
- a botanical garden, L’Hardy-Denonain, showcases plants native to Provence, as well as black Lilies
- the smallest street in the world, the Androuno, measures only 29 centimeters wide at its narrowest level
The streets in Gassin
As up start to wander, you will notice that the names of the streets are symbols that reflect the history of this village. The Passage of the Watchtower, the door of Saracens, the Rue du Fort, the Passage of the Knights Templar are all references to village’s past. Meander through the maze of the winding streets, knowing you can never really get lost. Only if you count getting lost in its sheer beauty.
The ancient homes in Gassin
Gassin is just one of those hilltop villages in France that you daydream about living there one day. It’s a village where more locals live, than tourists can stay.
Most of the historic buildings are built in serpentine or basalt from the local quarries. As well from the doors to the shutters, or even the stucco buildings – it’s a kaleidoscope of pretty pastel colours. Creamy whites, pale yellows, and soft pinks, oranges and blues all blended together.
Perfect for a solo traveller or a couple’s stay, this modern loft is absolutely perfect. The industrial-styled apartment sits above a luxury interior design shop and features some very cool pieces throughout this small space. Aside from the décor being magazine worthy, it’s the terrace and the views that truly make this the place to stay when in Gassin.
Click here to book your stay.
As a holidaymaker…
Escape to Gassin. It was perfect on all levels – the village itself, the apartment, the scenic views, the food, and a day trip to Saint Tropez. One of the best parts of travelling, is the memories we hold, and staying in Gassin is definitely one of those perfect memories.
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